State of Indian Democracy & it’s Future.


Ethos :-
The GLORY  of JUSTICE  and the majesty of law are created not just by the Constitution - nor by the courts - nor by the officers of the law - nor by the lawyers - but by the men and women who constitute our society - who are the protectors of the law as they are themselves protected by the law.
 (Robert Kennedy)

Background :-
In a civilized world (if it has to be so called without an iota of mistrust) only a democratic set-up can lead to a fulfilled nationhood. A nation which thrives and dreams of trust and good fortitude, a nation which has an unflinging urge to deliver, what it’s people deserve and then only can it rise in the league of nations.
The above is easier said than done (being a collaborative effort) with both the Govt. & it’s people working in tandem at times though slow but having a clear vision). The task of the Government is that of a preacher guarding the Idol (our constitution) and the citizens are it’s worshippers (bowing down to the idol in faith & belief). Both the parties have roles to play and play it well !
Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them. To understand the essence of a Democratic nation hood (where-in no one is a master or a slave), it is most imperative to absorb the underlying pillars of a democratic set up.

Tenets of our Democracy :-

The harbinger of earlier nation-hood development,  were bestowed on three estates: the first estate was the clergy, the second estate the nobility, and the third estate the commoners. The fourth estate is the press(coined in 1837), reflecting their increasing prominence and power.
Indian democracy is said to rest on the venerable four pillars (enjoying equal powers) :
(a)    The legislature -
Legislative pillar basically is responsible for making laws that will govern a state . These laws are either formed directly by people (Direct democracy) or through representatives elected by people(Indirect democracy). We follow an indirect democracy.
(b)   The executive –
Responsible for implementing the laws formed by Legislative section, and issue orders for their proper implementation. Executive section is selected on the basis of election system or merit system or a mixture of above.
(c)    The judiciary –
keeps a check on laws (given by legislative) and orders (issued by executive) and ensures that these laws and orders do not curtail the fundamental rights of citizens of a country.
(d)   The press –
Ensures the transparency in the working of all the above three systems. This is done by providing first hand info to the citizens on the functioning of the other 3 pillars.
The Dilemma :-
Since our nation achieved independence, all is not well with the set-up. Off late the cracks are too many.
The obvious question arises as to where lies the gap !!
All the four pillars have cracked to a great degree and Indian democracy is not healthy.
In brief, we have:
§  A legislature epitomized by a non-functioning Parliament.
§  An executive whose power is centralized or fragmented without achievable mandates.
§  A judiciary that is outdated, backlogged, and skewed to political executive brass.
§  A press that has freedom of speech but no Liabilities.
This needs elaboration.

legislature

Since independence the country has seen more of a fragmented legislature (both upper & lower houses), often with an opposition which refuses to evolve beyond its myopic, historical and outdated thinking.
 The above has lead to slow depletion of it’s legislative powers which frames  regulations, which strengthens our democratic fabric (upholding the Fundamental rights of it’s citizens).
A weak legislature resulted in increasing hostile grouping among fragmented masses, giving birth to radical groups. This has also been the cause of less invigorating law enforcement leading to loss of faith in the minds of citizens.
Finally, we have a plethora of regional and/or caste-based parties with populist agendas and democratic power to disrupt the legislative process of our Parliament, none of whom act beyond regional or caste-based ideologies in national interest, acting instead to attract attention with histrionics. Much has to do here with the easy access to politics for cheap / uneducated and opportunist masses which leads to multiple constitutional mandates, hung parliaments there by jeopardizing the very essence of  a credible legislative opposition.
There are no serious debates about any legislative act; the only opposition to any legislation is driven by populist political agendas that sacrifice national interest at every opportunity. The legislature is now so severely handicapped that the government has to resort to “ordinances”, i.e. the executive, to enact, i.e. act.

 

executive

It is no secret that the crop of ministers in our nation are only puppets pulled by strings held either by the PM or dynastic “high command”.
A well functioning executive would have a Cabinet of Ministers where discussions and debates happen, but nobody in India has any illusions about what transpires in today’s cabinet: diktats from the powerful ends all discussions and debates. This helps as a confidence building measure for the executive body, which in turn feels as a party to the entire democratic form of governance.
A cohesive, dictatorial Executive is good for the country in terms of efficiency and reforms, but not when it compromises sustainability in the long term. Given the history of India’s diversity, reasoned democratic dissent and debate should be allowed within the executive body.

judiciary

We have a judiciary burdened with a huge backlog and a history of corruption. Not much has been done to change the way our judiciary functions since the British left India. Same old Penal codes/ Acts and severity of judgement continues without paying any heed to the tryst of our times (A judiciary which upholds Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code framed in 1860,that considers homosexual intercourse as a criminal offence).
A judiciary that has become embroiled in governance issues because of corruption in government, does not have the teeth to provide the legal bite, which may keep fraudsters at bay.
A judiciary whose Supreme Court ex-justice thinks a Bollywood starlet should be the President of India. A former Supreme Court judge (ex-High Court of Delhi, Chennai, and Allahabad) who ranks Chief Ministerial candidates based on their feminine beauty, can have least to say.
Whatever is left out of the once esteemed body , has been shaken up by burly covenants of the police and politicians. Such is the system currently that a commoner would run away from the Law, rather than hugging it dearly.

 

 

press

We have a press whose freedom of speech do exists but without any liability to the nation. A media that is owned and controlled by corporate conglomerates, and TV channels that are besotted with covering every political melodrama on a minute-by-minute basis irrespective of its irrelevance in national or long term significance.
The more melodramatic minutiae the media happily laps up as “Breaking News” in the endless quest for higher TRPs, the more political parties are happy to supply the goods, further incapacitating the legislature. Here truth has lost it’s lustre.
Above introspection may hint us to hold our thought processes in retrospect and make us feel whether the cradle of constitutional frame work was too far- fetched for our nation.
well a flashback would help.


What went Wrong :-
The constitution has never been a frozen document, and it has always had multiple authors. Notwithstanding the sterling role played by the drafting committee and Babasaheb  Ambedkar, the constitution as it exists today is a product of interactions between three elements: the text, the courts and above all, ‘the people’.
Even at the time it was framed, the text was not a closed document. There were at least four elements that informed the making of the constitution – existing administrative provisions such as those embodied in the Government of India Act of 1935, internationally accepted constitutional principles, the ideals of the freedom struggle, including universal adult suffrage, and the events that were taking place in a country slowly emerging out of World War II, famine and above all, Partition.
However at one level, the constitution appear almost pre-ordained. As logic would have there have been arguments between deeply-opposed individuals. Not every shade of opinion was equally represented, especially the Communists, and the franchise on the basis of which members were elected was less than 30% of the adult population.
Chauvinism was rife as well, which led to fringe representation of smaller groups. In all, the constituent assembly was just as much as a space of conflict and collegiality, as many current assemblies, and its hallowed status in the country’s history should not blind us to the fact that real individuals and not mythic heroes populated it.
The final shape the constitution took was often weaker than it could have been, and this is very visible in the 5th Schedule, where the original proposal gave far more power to the Tribes Advisory Council than it currently has (where the council can only consider matters referred to it by the governor).
The constitution makers had much to answer for, including the neglect of villages. But what is equally amazing is how much they got right, especially in terms of fundamental rights, universal suffrage and a host of other features.
And where they missed out, the citizenry has intervened to expand the constitution in meaningful directions.
Challenges to Indian Democracy:-
India is a very large country full of diversities – linguistically, culturally, religiously. At the time of independence it was economically underdeveloped. There were enormous regional disparities, widespread poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and shortage of almost all public welfare means. Citizens had enormous expectations from independence. As mentioned above, India has changed a lot. Yet, there are various challenges that the country faces in terms of fulfillment of expectations of various sections of society. The challenges come both from prevailing domestic and international conditions as well as lack of adequate prerequisites for a smooth functioning of democracy. These are discussed below.
Illiteracy
Illiteracy among people was a matter of grave concern for the successful functioning of democracy in India on the eve of independence and it still continues to be a major challenge. The level of education of citizens is a key to both the successful functioning of democracy and socio-economic development of the country. The literacy rate in 1951 was mere 18.33 per cent and female literacy was negligible with 8.9 percent.
The effects of illiteracy is devastating and far-fetched :
(a)     The citizens would not be able to play their roles effectively and exercise their right to vote meaningfully which is an individual’s expression of the power of the people.
(b)   Literacy enables citizens to be aware of various issues, problems, demands, and interests in the country.
(c)    It also makes citizens conscious of the principles of liberty and equality of all and ensures that the representatives elected by them truly represent all the interests in the society. Universal
Literacy is therefore a must for the successful functioning of Indian democracy.
Poverty
poverty is considered as the greatest bane of democracy. It is, in fact, the root cause of all kinds of deprivations and inequalities. It is the state of denial of opportunities to people to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. The governmental definition of poverty line during the 1960s sought to measure the extent of poverty on the amount of income required to purchase a barest minimum desirable food having nutritional standards of caloric intake by a person.
Poverty in the contemporary phase is linked with systemic deprivation of rights. Because of all this, poverty continues to remain a great challenge to Indian democracy.



Gender Discrimination
Discrimination against girls and women exists in every walk of life. Gender equality is one of the basic principles of democracy.
Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties as well as the Directive Principles of State Policy make these intensions very clear. But the discrimination against females continues to be a fact of life.
Census which reported child sex ratio of 927 female children per 1000 male children.
 It has been declining because of several factors, like the prevailing preference for male child, discriminatory treatment against the girl child right after birth, and the increasing incidence of female infanticides and female foeticides.

Casteism, Communalism, Religious Fundamentalism
The Indian democracy faces serious challenges also from casteism, communalism and religious fundamentalism. They weaken the functioning and stability of democratic system.

Casteism:
The caste system which presumably originated in the division of labour in the ancient society has become a more or less rigid group classification, based on birth.
The democratic facilities - like fundamental rights relating to equality, freedom of speech, expression and association, participation in the electoral process, free media and press, and even legislative forums - are misused for maintaining casteist identity.
Casteism has also been contributing towards continuation of socio-economic inequalities. There are enormous inequalities in our society which are posing serious challenge to Indian democracy.
What is more alarming is the mixing of caste and politics resulting into ‘politicization of caste’.
Despite the era of liberalization and globalization caste consciousness has not been eroded in our society and castes are being increasingly used as vote bank politics.
Communalism:
Communalism and religious fundamentalism have acquired a very dangerous form and alarming proportion in India. They disrupt the pattern of co-existence in our multi-religious society. Quite often, communalism is wrongly used as a synonym for religion or conservatism.
 Although conservatism represents social backwardness, it does not mean communalism either. As a matter of fact, communalism is an ideology of political allegiance to a religious community.
Religious Fundamentalism:
Religious fundamentalism also reinforces communalists in exploiting both religion and politics. In fact, fundamentalism acts as an ideology which advocates a return to orthodoxy and a strict compliance to the fundamental tenets of religion. Religious fundamentalists vehemently oppose progressive reforms in order to establish their exclusive control on their respective communities.
Regionalism:
We all know that India is a plural country with diversities of religions, languages, communities, tribes and cultures. A number of cultural and linguistic groups are concentrated in certain territorial segments. Existence and continuation of regional inequalities both among States and within a State create a feeling of neglect, deprivation and discrimination. This situation has led to regionalism manifested in demands for creation of new States, autonomy or more powers to States or even secession from the country.
The problem begins when these interests are politicized and regional movements are promoted for ulterior political motives. Such unhealthy regional or sub-regional patriotism is cancerous and disruptive. The continuing regional imbalances have given rise to militant movements in certain parts of our country.
Separatist demands in Jammu and Kashmir or by ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) in Assam or by different groups in the North-Eastern region are matters of grave concern for Indian polity.
Corruption:
Corruption in public life has been a major concern in India. Corruption is rampant in all walks of life, be it land and property, health, education, commerce and industry, agriculture, transport, police, armed forces, even religious institutions or so called places of spiritual pursuits.
Corruption continues to exist in covert and overt ways at all three levels - political, bureaucratic and corporate sector. One can see the nexus between the politicians, the bureaucrats and the industrialists which has resulted into corruption and corrupt practices.
Corruption in electoral processes and bribing of voters who participate in elections at different levels has now become a common practice.
Corruption is a sign of political instability and institutional decay, challenging seriously the validity and propriety of governance.
Criminalization of Politics:
There have been allegations that there are some elements in politics who do not have faith in democratic values and practices. They indulge in violence and take refuge in other unhealthy, undemocratic methods to win elections.
Undoubtedly, this is not a healthy trend in politics and there is an urgent need to apply serious check on such tendencies. Criminalization of politics is the very negation of democratic values and has no place in a democratic set up. Democracy can be strengthened by adopting and promoting democratic values and shunning criminal activities.
Recently, the judiciary, while taking a serious note of criminal tendencies in politics, has showed signs of adopting remedial measures to apply a serious check on such elements. The Central government and many State governments have been taking steps to address this issue effectively. This is a matter of great satisfaction and a healthy sign for the successful functioning of democracy in our country. We, as awakened citizens and as voters of the largest democracy in the world, can also contribute by discouraging such persons who have a criminal background, from contesting elections.
Political Violence:
Violence has been with us for long, but use of violence for political end is dangerous for the existence of any system. In India we have been witnessing various forms of violence. Communal violence, caste violence and political violence in general have attained serious proportion.
Despite agricultural development, abolition of zamindari system, and developments like green
revolution and white revolution, there are still powerful feudal elements in thesociety. A serious conflict of interests has emerged between higher and middle castes and this has led to aggressive competition for political power which many a time leads to violence.

All of the above underlines the immature state of our nation hood which seems to have attained independence before really being ready to handle it !!









Panacea :-
It is thus clear that democracy in India faces certain serious challenges. These are causes of serious concern to all. In fact, the leadership of the freedom movement and especially the framers of the Indian Constitution themselves were very much aware of these issues. They made a number of constitutional
provisions to address the same. Since independence governments have taken various measures to respond to many of these challenges. There have been significant improvements in some of these. However, lots still have to be done.
For that, efforts have been going on. There is need for collaboration among governmental agencies, political parties, civil society and citizens in general.
Certain significant corrective measures that have been adopted and can be initiated are as follows:
Universal Literacy ‘Education for All’:
The significance and necessity of education for efficient functioning of democracy was appreciated by the framers of the Indian Constitution. Various governments at national and state levels have been making efforts to attain this goal.
The goal of universal literacy is yet to be attained. Currently a nation-wide programme known as Saakshar Bharat is being implemented. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a flagship programme for universalization of elementary education for children between 6-14 years of age. Further, the Parliament of India in 2009 passed the Right to Education Act but still the issue of infrastructure and good teachers remains the same.
Another pressing issue will be availability of jobs post education. Unless jobs are available, no one would be interested in education.
Poverty Alleviation:
From the 1970s, a number of programmes have been implemented for alleviation of poverty in India. These programmes fall into two broad categories:
 (i)    There are programmes to lift beneficiaries above poverty line by providing them with
productive assets or skills or both, so that they can employ themselves usefully
and earn greater income.
(ii)    Programmes are also being implemented to provide temporary wage employment for the poor and the landless.
Though there are multiple projects launched by such as -  Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY), The Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA). However all such mega projects are executed unaudited and without any checks & balances. Due to such open ended projects, the projects are fraught with corruption and leakage of Government revenues.
Elimination of Gender Discrimination:
Several laws have been enacted, policies have been made and implemented, and institutional
reforms have been carried out for the development of women. These Amendments have reserved
one-third of the seats in the Panchayati Raj Institutions, Municipalities and Municipal Corporations. Another significant development has been the adoption of the National Policy for Empowerment of Women in 2001, the overarching goal of which is to “bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of women.” But a lot needs to be done to attain this goal.
Removal of Regional Imbalance:
Redressing regional imbalances has indeed been a vital objective of the planning process in India. Efforts are on to reduce regional disparities. Centrally Sponsored Programmes have been in operation for the last two to three decades for taking care of specific aspects of backwardness of such regions.
Some of the major programmes are: (i) the Tribal Development Programme, (ii) the Hill Area Development Programme, (iii) the Border Area Development Programme, (iv) the Western Ghat Development Programme, (v) the Drought Prone Area Programme and (vi) the Desert Development Programme.
While the development of the backward regions is a national responsibility, the State and the local leadership also have significant role to play. Unless the local leadership – political, bureaucratic and intellectual – resolves to usher in development based on sharing the benefits on egalitarian basis with the masses, results will be hard to come by. Resources are not the real constraints; it is the way resources are spent that remains the fundamental concern.
Also to be mentioned here is the center – state relations.
Administrative and Judicial Reforms:
The success of all the above stated corrective measures primarily depends on
the efficient functioning of administration and independence and righteousness
of the judicial system.
Rampant corruption, inefficiencies, wastages and irresponsiveness to the needs of citizens are some of the commonly acknowledged problems afflicting the administration. No doubt, the Indian judiciary has
remained independent and neutral; there are serious problems of –
(i)                  slow disposal of cases leading to delays as well as accumulation of backlog, and
(ii)                very low rate of prosecution in criminal cases.
A number of Commissions and Committees have been set up in this regard. But bureaucratic reluctance to change has prevented the reforms to take place in full measure. The recommendations of various Commissions and Committees focus around the need
-           to make administration accountable and citizen friendly.
-          to build its capacity for quality governance.
-          to orient administration for promoting peoples’ participation, decentralization and devolution
       of powers.
-          to make administrative decision-making process transparent.
-          to improve the performance and integrity of the public services.
-          to reinforce ethics in administration and
-          to inculcate readiness for e-governance.
Judicial reform also has been a critical concern since long. Various recommendations have been made on many occasions. The major issues that need consideration in this regard are : (a) Simplification of Rules and Procedures,(b) Repealing Out-dated Laws, (c) Increase in the Judge Population Ratio, (d)Time-bound filling of Vacant Posts in Judiciary, (d) Transparency in Appointment, Promotion and Transfer of Judges, (e) Judicial Accountability; and (f) Transparency of Court Proceedings.

Sustainable Development (Economic, Social, Environmental:
Indian democracy can adequately respond to all the challenges when it moves forward on the path of sustainable development. A model of development without taking into account the basic needs of millions, today as well as in the future, cannot be conducive for the survival of democracy. Development has to be human-centred and directed towards improvement of quality of life of all the people. It has to be focused on removal of poverty, ignorance, discrimination, disease and unemployment. The development process has to aim at sustained economic, social and environmental development.







Silent Fifth pillar of Democracy :-

NO OFFICE IN THE LAND IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT OF BEING A CITIZEN
– FELIX FRANKFURTER
The people who are citizens in a democratic system like India cannot and ought not remain passive and treat themselves as governed. In fact, a democracy can be successful and vibrant only when citizens imbibe and reflect in their mindset, thinking and behaviour the basic values like equality, freedom, secularism, social justice, accountability and respect for all. They have to appreciate the opportunities for their desired roles and play proactive roles to actualize the goals of democracy.
Appreciation of Opportunities for Citizens’ Role:
The opportunities as democratic citizens are available in all democracies, but they vary from one democratic system to another. Indian democracy in the modern sense began after a long period of colonial rule. Although the democratic system started just after independence in 1947, its socio-cultural settings were and still are not in tune with the democratic culture. India is a vast multi-cultural,
multi-lingual, truly plural society, which in many respects still carries the characteristics of traditionalism. At the same time it is trying to absorb the values of modern democracy. Even now many think that the government has to rule and do everything, and if things are not happening in an expected manner, it is only the government which is to be blamed. As you know, the democratic government in our country is run by the representatives chosen by us. In that sense, every citizen is responsible for how the governments functions at different levels: national, state and local. And hence, every citizen has to play a critical role and use every opportunity for doing so. As Indian citizens are we doing it? Let us consider. Major opportunities for roles of citizens may be as follows :
Participation
The key role of citizens in a democracy is to participate in public life. The most commonly observed opportunity of participation is exercising the right to vote during elections:
(i)                  We need to vote wisely – which means that citizens must have a valid agenda as expected from their representative. The mandates must be far- fetched and not ad-hoc such as freebies.
(ii)                Each citizen must listen to and knows the views of different parties and candidates, and then makes his or her own decision on whom to vote for.
(iii)               Percentage of voting is still low. Only 66% of India votes – which has to change. The same will require the understanding and seriousness of the common man.
(iv)              A vital form of participation comes through membership of political parties and more importantly, active membership in independent non-governmental organizations, that are known as “civil society organizations.”

Making the System Accountable
Participation in the political process is not enough. Citizens have to make the democratic system responsive and responsible:
(i)                  Citizens are needed to ensure that the Parliamentarians, Members of State Legislatures and their representatives in Panchayati Raj and Municipal Institutions are accountable.
(ii)                The instruments created by the Right to Information Act, 2005 .Citizens have an obligation to become informed about public issues, to watch carefully how their political leaders and representatives use their powers, and to express their own opinions and interests.
(iii)               When citizens find that the government is not living up to its promises; they should point it out through media, make recommendations and demands accountability from the government. If the government still fails to fulfill promises, citizens may protest, carry out peaceful satyagraha, civil disobedience or non-cooperation campaigns to make the government accountable.
(iv)              However all of the above is best done through a congregation of like minded people in a civil way. Few of the ways as adapted to our recent time are :
a.       Volunteer for Election Watches: We need people for various activities during election watches, like: data entry, interacting with election officers, etc.
b.      Answer the helpline: Answer the questions coming from states going to polls on candidates based on the affidavits filed by them.
c.       Design work: Create pamphlets banners to support the Election Watch teams in states. The pamphlets are based on current events and findings.
d.      Web site updates: Our website needs to be updated on a regular basis, with lot of content, a lot of which comes from different states. You can help us with updates to the website.
e.      Blogging site: Monitor and contribute to the blogging site.
f.        Public dissemination: There are a lot of election watch public dissemination activities going in all states. You can participate in these activities.
g.       Media Watch: We have a media watch program going on. You can participate in the media watch program
h.      Translation Activities: A lot of our press releases, newsletter etc. need to be translated into local languages.
Citizen’s Obligation towards Democracy
We should realize that citizenship is more than voting or making the system accountable. Many people tend to regard democracy as a system where literally everything is allowed. And every person has the freedom to do whatever one desires. This often leads to a complete chaos that devastates the order of the society rather than improving it. In that way it leads to the opposite effects of democracy.

A citizen has to accept that freedom is never absolute. If you have a right to do certain things, you have also the responsibility to ensure that your actions do not infringe upon the rights of others.

We need to have faith in our Democratic set-up and hence must continue to speak. With all the other so-called “pillars” of our democracy crumbling, the true, solid pillar of the Indian citizen is our only hope for generations to come.



Road Ahead :-
Steps to ascertain that our democracy becomes upright, matured and dependable  would be :
Inclusive growth:
A new approach to inclusive growth where equity becomes a means to a higher and more sustained growth. For achieving this, it proposes specific initiatives for the provision of productive assets to the poor, training for high-wage employment, quality health care, and equitable access over markets.
 Such a growth process could play an important role in countering terrorism and strengthening democracy by giving economic opportunities to the deprived sections of the population.
Constitutional review:
With the passage of time the rules & laws of land must change in order to keep up with the desires of it’s citizens.
By virtue of it’s time of enactment, Indian constitution has Laws & By-Laws which needs review.
-          The section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with the subject of rape, requires many changes. As per the IPC, “rape” has been categorized into different kinds such as Marital rape, Custodial rape, Gang rape etc. 
-          The Evidence Act requires major amendment in the definition clause of “evidence”. Till date the act only mentions two kinds of evidences: oral or documentary. With the advancement of technology today we have lie detector tests, DNA proficiency tests, brain mapping and various other kinds of tests that help in extracting the truth out of the offender. 
-          The Land Acquisition Act 1894 requires major changes as it still contains portions which are redundant in today’s times. There is a need to redefine the term ‘public purpose’ for which the State can acquire land in return of some compensation.
-          The Water (prevention and control) Pollution Act has some major defects. With majority of our rivers drying up and the sorry state of Yamuna shows the incompetence of the Act in the present times. The act still talks about wells and streams as being the sources of water. 
The above are just some of the few changes which can set the ball rolling for more stricter guidelines and enforcements of Law for it’s citizens , as is very much required for a democratic set-up.


What type of Democracy is adept (should we move towards direct democracy):
Parliamentary form of government may be a bit unstable and slow in decision making, but given the uniqueness of our country, the advantages outweighs the disadvantages. So, even in contemporary scenario, the Westminster system is a safe bet.
At the time of independence, Westminster form of governance was undoubtedly better suited to Indian needs. Keeping in mind the differences in our country from the two models (UK & US), like pluralistic society, fragile union of states etc, let's look into some factors that went into deciding in its favor, and are still relevant:

1.    Presidential form of governance can sometimes lead to a deadlock between the executive and legislative ( like the one recently in US when the Congress didn't allowed the budget to pass, leading to a shutdown). The need of the hour was fast paced  development and India couldn't really afford frequent deadlocks given that it had a multitude of representation in the Parliament.

2.    Parliamentary government allows more space to accommodate political heavyweights from different regions and communities. This placates the regional leaders and helps in developing a sense of equal participation. This was even more reqd. when India was achieving independence.
3.    In a new democracy, accountability is perhaps needed more than stability of government. Legislature can more effectively control the government through ministerial responsibilities, which is secured on a continuous basis unlike the presidential form, where there is lesser control and one has to wait for the next elections (this form however ensures less of political cycles)

4.    In a pluralistic society, such government is more representative and promotes participatory decision making. Authoritarian tendencies are better checked
The representative democracy tries to maintain a balance between the say of it’s people, however overtly not miscalculating it considering – lack of informed decision & bias towards self aggrandizement.


Bottom line :-
Ultimately, the only thing that is not negotiable in the constitution is the hope for justice, equality, liberty and fraternity. A party or a government which comes to power swearing on the constitution but does not share this vision, and which believes in the supremacy of one religion or one language, is not only committing perjury, but is profoundly anti-republic.

I am calling for a ‘citizens’ movement against “ Politicizing of Democracy, corruption, criminalization and concentration of power”.

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